Our man Andy Spoors has been following the band since their inception and he talked exclusively to Jeremy Davis – a chat which hinted at the divisions about to cut the Grammy-nominated band in half.
rushonrock: So other than the weather how did you find the UK on your latest tour?
Jeremy Davis: Other than the weather? It’s all I could think about it was so cold! I loved it, it’s been amazing. It’s crazy the shows this time were bigger than the last time we were here and bigger than I could ever have imagined.
rushonrock: Do you notice a big difference between the fans in the US and over here?
JD: Yeah the European crowds – and especially in England – are, in general, more passionate about their music. A lot of the older rock bands won’t tour in America, because people over there don’t even know they still tour. I think a lot more people have a love for music and a passion for music in England and realise music can give you the drive to get through everything. People kind of don’t get that in America they just go with the coolest thing on the radio or on TV. There’s not even music on MTV anymore…
rushonrock: Where have you enjoyed playing?
JD: Probably the O2 in London, it’s just insane. It looks like all the other places but it just goes up so much higher. There’s a part in the show where Hayley asks everyone to shine some sort of light and it just looked liked stars and it was a crazy experience that I’ll never forget.
rushonrock: The video for Playing God was released during the UK tour – do you pay attention to the theories and comments that are banded about?
JD: I didn’t write all the lyrics, but it’s a song about people that point the finger and try and play God by saying you’re doing this wrong. Like it says in the song when you point the finger at someone there’s three pointing right back at you. It’s about that kind of thing and people that have been involved in Hayley’s life, that’s all.
rushonrock: 2010 has been a particularly good year for you. What’s the best memory you will take from it?
JD: It has been a crazy year, the overseas tour but I don’t know everything’s been great. Just last week we won an EMA award and we always seemed to be the band nominated but never wins. So to actually win one was a great experience for me. Just to go up and except an award is something I’ve always wanted to do.
rushonrock: Yeah, it always seems to come down between you and 30 Seconds to Mars! Do you reckon you could take them in a fight?
JD: The thing is we have Hayley and she can throwdow! Whenever you’re against a band like that people might think there is a beef there, but honestly everytime we have encountered them they have been overly, overly nice and you hear a lot worse. I’ve heard so many things and literally not one time when we have seen them have they not stopped what they are doing just to say ‘hey’. They are good guys and if that’s our competition then it can only be a good thing.
rushonrock: The two of you seem to be introducing rock music to a new generation, how does that feel?
JD: It seems crazy to be saying ‘re-introducing’ rock but I guess it’s kind of true these days. We never really planned it, all of this was just a dream and we just played music, started touring and never stopped and it turned into this. Now we have kids looking up to us, I can’t tell you how many kids tell us it’s the first rock concert they’ve ever been to and that’s great. I read a letter I found in my pocket this morning actually that basically said this girl never really felt like she had a place and she was constantly picked on for the way she looked and this and that. And she felt that coming to our shows was the only place she didn’t feel judged and felt normal or just felt like she belonged. And it’s crazy to hear something like that, it really does keep you going. I read that a girl was killed on her way back from a rock concert recently for looking different, which is horrific but if these kids feel like they have a place where they can come and relate in anyway then what we set out to do is done.
rushonrock: So who was your inspiration when you were growing up?
JD: We all have different inspirations in the band but I listened to a lot of rap and hip hop when I was younger. I played alot of country, being in Nashville you have to! Victor Wooten is one of the all time best bass players and I’ve been lucky enough to see him around alot and have dinner with him too. He’s incredibly versatile and he’s the kind of bass player I would want to be. You just play a song and I’ll jam along you know. But as a band we love the usual, Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab For Cutie a band called Failure.
rushonrock: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
JD: Wow there’s gotta be some in there somewhere. Maybe when Backstreet Boys and N-Sync were big I would have been like ‘this is stupid’ but secretly I was kind of like (nods head and smiles guiltily). I don’t have any of their records but they would get you jumping a little bit right!?
rushonrock: If you could pick any three people to come round for dinner who would you pick?
JD: Like Come Dine With Me? Jeez, probably Eminem. He’d be crazy just some of the stuff he could talk about, maybe you couldn’t get it all out and a lot of it probably wouldn’t be appropriate! You got to have Elvis! I’m just going way out there, it would be the craziest episode ever! The last one, maybe Willie Nelson? He’s seen some stuff and that would be a strange conversation. Just the four of us, all of them just wondering who the hell is this guy? But I suppose Elvis would be wondering who all these guys are…
rushonrock: You had your problems last year, do you feel like as a band you have moved on?
JD: It’s hard touring and a lot of bands split up after being on the road and clashing. It’s difficult to explain when you’re around each other more than your real family so you do butt heads. But when you realise everyone’s friends and in our case everyone’s still young and growing into the people they will be. At first we saw the changes as a bad thing but it’s all about accepting the changes and we got it all out by writing this record. There are always problems, but it’s all just little things because you’re always with everyone all the time. But touring is still really fun and a great experience.
rushonrock: You have BOB on tour with you, do you feel like Airplanes (with Hayley Williams) helped the band.
JD: Yeah that song is one of the things outside of Paramore that helps the band, just like the song in Twilight too. We’re still on a Paramore tour, but how exciting for the kids to see BOB and Hayley sing it together because that song is huge everywhere.
rushonrock: So what are your plans for next year?
JD: Honestly we are worn out! We’ve been doing this tour for a long time so at the moment we are looking at just taking a second for ourselves. Everything is planned a year ahead which is crazy, so we are hoping to do a little more touring with this album and hopefully we will feel inspired and come back and do it all again.